One of the greatest things about this foreclosure crisis is the fact that normal, everyday people are learning more about their courts and our system of justice than probably any other time in our country’s history than perhaps the civil rights movement. I continue to be very impressed with some of the great legal work and excellent information that comes out of non-lawyers.
One of the figures that I am most impressed by is Lisa Epstein from Foreclosure Hamlet. This amazing woman runs an excellent website, but more than that, she’s become one heck of an expert in foreclosure issues. She is a real example of a hero emerging from the midst of tragedy and crisis. From Lisa comes this next very interesting issue.
So Just What Are The Facts?
On April 21, 2010, the Fourth District Court of Appeals announced its decision in RIGGS v. AURORA LOAN SERVICES. This was a great decision for those in the foreclosure fight because it rejected summary judgment when the endorsement did not match up with the named plaintiff…here is an excerpt from the opinion:
Aurora Loan Services, LLC, filed a mortgage foreclosure action against Jerry Riggs, Sr., alleging that it was the “owner and holder” of the underlying promissory note. Aurora filed a copy of the mortgage and a copy of the promissory note, which named Riggs as the mortgagor and First Mangus Financial Corporation as the mortgagee. The promissory note reflected an “endorsement in blank,” which is a stamp with a blank line where the name of the assignee could be filled in above a pre-printed line naming First Mangus. (emphasis added)
On June 16, 2010, the Fourth District issued a new opinion in this case which affirmed the trial court’s grant of summary judgment.
Aurora filed a mortgage foreclosure action against Jerry Riggs, Sr., alleging that it was the “owner and holder” of the underlying promissory note. With the complaint, Aurora filed copies of the mortgage and promissory note, which named Riggs as the mortgagor and First Mangus Financial Corporation as the mortgagee. Aurora asserted that the original note was in its possession. Aurora moved for summary judgment. In support of the motion, it filed two affidavits attesting that it owned and held the note and mortgage. At the hearing on the motion, Aurora produced the original mortgage and promissory note. The note had an indorsement in blank with the hand printed signature of Humberto Alday, an agent of the indorser, First Mangus. (emphasis added) The circuit court granted summary judgment in favor of Aurora over Riggs’s objections that Aurora’s status as lawful “owner and holder” of the note was not conclusivelyestablished by the record evidence.
It was our friend Lisa Epstein who first alerted the legal community to the fact that the legally operative fact in this case, i.e. whether the note was endorsed properly or not changed from the first opinion to the second opinion. No explanation is provided in either opinion so inquiring legal minds all across the country are wondering….
WAS THERE NO PROPER ENDORSEMENT AS REFLECTED IN THE APRIL 21, 2010 RULING OR WAS THERE A POTENTIALLY PROPER ENDORSEMENT AS CITED IN THE
JUNE 16, 2010 ORDER?
I’m just dying to find out the answer to this very significant question……